Sunday, April 24, 2011

C for "Canada Crazy"

I'll keep this entry short since it's late at night and I can't sleep in too much tomorrow.

I found out that one of my colleagues is from Canada and used to live in Vancouver. Surprise! It seems that she met a Japanese guy in Canada and probably followed him here. What a courageous girl. Now she is working in Japan, teaching English.

Canada. I don't hesitate to call that country my second home. I had too much fun and left too many things undone. I have to go back.

Whenever I hear about someone who is from Canada or has some connection to Canada, I feel very sentimental. At the same time, I feel a sense of defeat. I couldn't get a job there, and also no one who I have dated insisted to follow me to this country. Even though now I'm used to the idea that things just didn't work out in my past relationships, Canadian-Japanese couples' stories always make me feel sad and envious. I won't wonder why I can't make things out because romance is usually very unfair and unfortunate. I believe in myself and my passion.

Friday, April 22, 2011

B for "Bilingualism"

I think I can call myself somewhat bilingual. There's no clear certification for claiming "bilingual," so I would say if you can communicate in two languages and many people admit that you are fluent in both, you are bilingual. I read the article about brain on the Internet, and the study showed being multilingual makes you good at prioritizing things and multitasking. I don't completely believe this result, but I was happy to know that using two languages helps my brain to stay young longer :)

Speaking of language, the first reason why I liked English was the sound. I even wrote a thesis on English phonetics. But the charm of English, or any other languages might be the same if I had learned seriously, is not only how it sounds but also its characteristics that have been established in the Western culture. By using this language, I can be another person, just like you are wearing a mask and acting slightly differently than usual you. I'm not saying that I'm hiding behind this language "mask," but the foreign tongue allows me to be less shy and reserved. This helps me greatly to gain my self-esteem.

I mentioned on my journal before, but my friend told me that I look more confident when I'm speaking English. This is probably because I am feeling good about myself for using another language, and English makes me talk in a way that is a bit Westernized, not vocabulary-wise but my state of mind. When I was in Vancouver, a part of the cause of my happiness and satisfaction was probably because I was living in English-speaking environment. Of course, speaking a non-mother tongue all day long makes me tired, but I realized that there are some things that I could express only in English. If I tried to say them in Japanese, I would feel so embarrassed. This blog is the same thing. I wouldn't write these things in Japanese, hell NO!

According to my experience, I prefer being in a relationship in English and doing business in Japanese. This is how I think about the two languages that I can use :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A for "Another Turn, Another Spring"

Hello, there.

So I'm starting another routine of ABCs. I thought about something else, such as following Japanese hiragana, but I think alphabet is the best idea so far.

Cherry blossoms are awesome this year. Now, they are blown by the wind and falling all over the ground. Double-flowered ones have started to bloom. And this is my second spring after I came back from Canada. I wasn't going to greet another spring without having any plans of returning to my second home, but this is reality. The situation is quite difficult and I couldn't keep my motivation to try to find a job in Canada. But I haven't given up. This year, I must do something. Otherwise, I would never be able to go back to that country.

The other day, I found a magazine article that reported some Japanese women who succeeded in getting a job in England. Those ladies have various situations, such as being a single mother and a graduate student, getting a national license to be a therapist, or working for a Japanese company in London. There were visa problems for everyone, just like I had, but somehow they overcame them. I was encouraged to read that article. That's not about Canada, but the case was pretty similar. It IS possible to find a job in a foreign country from Japan, and it IS possible to be a student and then become a foreign worker.

Because of the earthquake, I put this matter aside, but I was thinking about going to the grad school in Canada if there were no other means that I could take. I need to make plans, like dual plans so that I can look for both possibilities to be a worker and a student. This year's resolution is as always, "Save money!"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Z for "Zonked Out" tired I am.
This is the first week of the new school year, which is a nightmare for teachers/administrative officers. Why? Because not only we have to lead herds of students to their new classrooms, there are relatively more phone calls, visitors, and trial students than usual. It's a very good thing for our school to be busy, provided that we have enough teachers. Partly due to the earthquake and nuclear disaster, and partly because of our unpreparedness, we have serious trouble finding teachers to run the regular schedule. Ever since the worst shake of the history, probably so many English schools in this Kanto area have been having the same problem. We had to cancel many classes, create make-up lesson timetable, and yet we are now making the make-up schedule for missed make-up classes! Crazy.

Yesterday was Monday, and Monday is usually crazy enough since we have more students and less staff than regular weekdays. Yesterday was even worse. We had so many trial students and their mothers in this small school, and teachers were in confusion of who and what to teach. Moreover, I had three classes to teach in a row and couldn't deal with any administrative tasks, such as asking the trial students whether they liked the class or answering the parents' questions. (Another staff dealt with all those matters temporarily.) It was such a relief to end the day even though it was an hour after my shift had finished. Today, the other teacher/administrator came back from her day off, so we solved the remained problems together and tackled new ones. Now it's my time to be free...for a day. Yes, Wednesday is my weekly holiday as a full-time employee :) I realized how easy job I had been doing while working part-time. The first two days of this week totally made me exhausted. I can't wait to slip into my bed and curl up.

By the way, this is my very first blog entry that is written on my new MacBook Pro. I haven't been able to transfer completely from my old Window's PC, but this is now pretty much my "one of the things that I can't live without." Thinking of my PC, I bought that computer so that I could bring my own machine to Canada. It has literary been my "widow" towards the world, and inevitable item for my whole days in Canada. We even went to London together. It stored and updated my hundreds of pictures and blog entries. I haven't decided what to do with my old computer, but I really appreciate its hard work ;)